TAMPA — Everything the Lightning do these days is viewed from a Brayden Point perspective.
How does this affect re-signing Point? What does this mean for re-signing Point?
Julien BriseBois made clear from well before the offseason began that re-signing Point was the Lightning’s priority. So why has he been able to sign so many others before Point?
Because this contract is more complicated than the others. That could be money or length or a combination there in. Agreeing to a one-year, $1.75 million deal with Kevin Shattenkirk, looking for a chance to prove himself, is easier than coming to an agreement with a young star with years of promise and potential for a major payday in unrestricted free agency.
When he addressed the media about signing Shattenkirk, BriseBois did not have an update on Point. In full, his response to a question about the impact of this signing on negotiations with Point:
“I don’t really think it has any impact,” he said. “We’re adding another good player. I’m very optimistic that we’re going to get a contract done with Brayden Point. That hasn’t wavered. I am still very confident we will agree to a contract. I know Brayden wants to win. He wants to play on a good team. He wants me as the general manager to do everything I can to help the team win and make sure we have the best players possible on the team. This was an opportunity to improve our team today, so that’s why I made that decision.”
BriseBois has been talking to Point’s agent for months. He has some idea of where each stands, even if he doesn’t know where in the middle they will land.
Even if he thinks Shattenkirk makes the Lightning a better team, it’s unlikely he’d sign him, or most anyone else, at the risk of not getting a contract done with Brayden Point.
After signing Shattenkirk, assuming that Mike Condon is sent to the AHL and Louis Domingue is traded for a pick or AHL player, the Lightning has $9.3 million in cap space for next year. That’s enough to sign Point.
While Point is the priority and biggest impact player remaining, he isn’t the only restricted free agent unsigned by the Lighting. What about Adam Erne?
“No update,” BriseBois said.